|Diego Velasquez, Venus and her Mirror (The Rokeby Venus), 1650 (source)|
|Diego Velasquez, Vieja Friendo Heuvos (old lady frying eggs), 1618. (source)|
For some reason, Venus as a painting subject matter really fascinates me, in school I did a study of the rokeby Venus, and then went on to write papers about Giorgione, Titian and Manet's versions of Venus. Velasquez' Venus is sumptuous, and lovely, and trying replicate the subtle textures of the fabrics was a really great exercise. You get a feeling of what each fabric is- heavy velvet curtains, blue silk taffeta, and fine white bed linens, just through the way the light reflects on them, which is a pretty remarkable thing to translate into paint.